A comprehensive, thoughtful resource on helping your child navigate their sexual development. Richardson and Schuster help you understanding your child’s developmental process as a parent, and offer practical advice on how to address the tough sex questions that sometimes leave you speechless. This book is a great choice for all types of care givers looking for information on how to teach children about sex. The content and range of information make it a great resource from birth all the way into the later teen years.
This book starts from the premise that sexuality doesn’t start during puberty; your child is born a sexual being. Working from this foundational insight, the book presents age-appropriate lessons about changing bodies, reproduction, sexual expression, pleasure, and more. The authors divide the book into three main sections, shaped by real-life anecdotes, to help you develop strategies of your own.
Part 1: The Nature and Nurture of Kids and Sex (Chapters 1-2) includes an introduction to the hows and whys of talking to your kids about sex. The authors lay out a loose timeline in which to impart lessons about development and sexuality, including lessons on anatomy, basic information on sex and how reproduction works, and information on puberty and attraction (including same gender attraction).
Part II: Your Child’s Sexual Development (Chapters 3- 10) begins with early development, teaching anatomy, and responding to your child’s first sexual experiments and expressions of sex play. If you’ve ever asked yourself “When should my children stop bathing together?” or “What should I do when my child masturbates in the store?” you’ll find some great guidance. Learn about the physical changes of puberty and how to prepare your child for these bodily and emotional transitions. The authors thoroughly discuss menstruation, first ejaculation, early and late bloomers, grooming, and also take time to explore your child’s increased separation from you as an individual (and why that’s important). The authors also take time to debunk the myth that your child’s gender identity predicts their sexual identity. Learn how to approach your child with love and understanding if their gender expression transcends the norm, as well as how to talk about sexual orientation in an open and affirming manner. The authors also discuss the process of coming out as a parent of a gay and lesbian child, and provide helpful resources and support group information for parents on that journey.
Part II concludes with a survey of the days you hoped would never come, filled with flirting, dating, and adult sexual feelings. If you’ve ever wondered “How can I teach my child about sex while keeping them from having any?” this section is a must-read. There’s great information on teaching about sexual pleasure in the context of your values, and how to facilitate conversations about sex in a supportive and nonjudgmental way.
Finally, in Part III: Risks (Chapters 11-) you’ll learn about STIs (and what to do if your child has a positive diagnosis for an infection), unintended pregnancy and the options available, and how to support your child when the decision they want to make is different from the decision you think is best for them. The book concludes with an expansive appendix with safer sex and STI information. Highly Recommended.